Five Of The Most Controversial Goals In Football

Professional footballers are some of the most famous celebrities in the world – and just like most celebrities, they manage to attract their fair share of scandals. Whether it’s on the field or off, football’s biggest stars seem to court controversy. Whether it’s sex, drugs and rock’n’roll or mid-match drama, these sportsmen have a talent for trouble.

We’ve explored a few of football’s most controversial goals.

  1. Frank Lampard – disallowed goal (2010)

The soccer world cup is the number one event both for seasoned football fans as well as casual viewers. Looking back twelve years to the 2010 tournament in South Africa, a disallowed goal scored (or “scored”) by Frank Lampard stood out as a defining moment for both teams involved. The English striker sent the ball over the line from a fair distance – seen clearly by players and crowd alike – but the goal was disallowed, leaving England deflated and ultimately resulting in a loss to Germany 4-1.

  1. Bayer Leverkusen – “Ghost Goal” (2013)

The term “ghost goal” (or “phantom goal”) was coined to describe both disallowed but legitimate goals and “goals” wrongly awarded. In a 2013 match between Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen, striker Stefan Kiessling headed the ball into the net, boosting Leverkusen’s score. The issue? The ball did not enter the goal through the appropriate opening but rather through a hole in the side of the net.

  1. Thierry Henry – handball against Ireland (2009)

France’s victory against Ireland in the 2010 World Cup qualifying play-offs did not go down well with The Emerald Isle. The final score, 2-1 to France, sent the victors to the tournament and crushed Ireland’s ambitions, but was in hindsight an inaccurate reflection of the match. The crucial goal scored by William Gallas in the 103rd minute was set up by Thierry Henry’s handling of the ball – a foul that bolstered the push for VAR. The incident has been dubbed “le hand of God,” after Maradona’s most famous moment, or sometimes even “the hand of frog”.

  1. Lionel Messi – “Hand of God” 2.0 (2008)

Lionel Messi was dubbed “Messi-dona” for his superb skills on the field, but an unfortunate incident in 2008 took the nickname to a whole new level. In a 2007 league match against Espanyol, the Argentine recreated Maradona’s “Hand of God” incident – almost a carbon copy. Needless to say, the opposing side was enraged when the referee upheld the goal, adding to the calls for VAR to be implemented. Players want the game to be as far as those offered by casinos in Canada online, and rightly so.

  1. Maradona – Original “Hand of God” (1986)

A list of the most controversial goals just wouldn’t be complete without Diego Maradona’s infamous “hand of God“. In the 1986 World Cup semi-final against England, Maradona sent the ball into the net – with his hand. The goal was allowed, and it was much later, when a slowed down replay of the incident clearly showed the diminutive Argentine’s handball, that England’s outrage was fully validated. A few minutes later, Maradona scored a spectacular goal – this time legitimate – and sealed the win.

These are just five examples of football’s most scandalous moments.